Archive for the ‘Cycles’ Category


Question: If I had a container, full with air, and I suddenly decreased the volume of the container, forcing the air into a smaller volume, will it be considered as compression, will it result in an increase in temperature, and why?

Answer on Stack Exchange by Luboš Motl: Yes, it is compression and yes, it will heat up the gas.

If there’s no heat exchange between the gas and the container (or the environment), we call it an adiabatic process. For an adiabatic process involving an ideal gas (which is a very good approximation for most common gases), pVγ is constant where γ is an exponent such as 5/3. Because the temperature is equal to T=pV/nR and pV/pVγ=V1−γ is a decreasing function of V, the temperature will increase when the volume decreases.

Macroscopically, the heating is inevitable because one needs to perform work p|dV| to do the compression, the energy has to be preserved, and the only place where it can go is the interior of the gas given by a formula similar to (3/2)nRT.


An interesting contribution to the ice age debate here. Problems with Milankovitch and CO2-related theories are discussed.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

Gerald Marsh, retired Argonne National Laboratories Physicist, challenges the usual assumption that ice age cycles are initiated by Milankovich Cycles and driven by the Arrhenius effect of carbon dioxide. He says that the key variable here is “low altitude cloud cover” driven by cosmic rays. A paper worth reading.


  1. The existing understanding of interglacial periods is that they
    are initiated by Milankovitch cycles enhanced by rising atmospheric
    carbon dioxide concentrations. During interglacials, global temperature is
    also believed to be primarily controlled by carbon dioxide concentrations,
    modulated by internal processes such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation
    and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Recent work challenges the
    fundamental basis of these conceptions.
    The history of the role of carbon dioxide in climate begins with the work of Tyndall 1861 and later in 1896 by Arrhenius. The concept that carbon dioxide controlled climate fell into disfavor for a variety of reasons until…

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Our hypothesis that solar variation is affected by planetary motion, developed over the last 10 years here at the talkshop received a boost today when one of its main detractors, Anthony Watts, published an article declaring that solar cycle 24 is entering minimum.

I’ve left a comment there, something I rarely do since the debacle back in 2014 when Anthony and his sidekick Willis attacked our work and banned discussion of our solar-planetary theory. I’ll be interested to see if it passes moderation.


Here’s the plot I linked. It shows that Rick Salvador’s model is spot on track over the last 5 years.


As we’ve been warning for years on the talkshop, the incoming solar grand minimum is likely to hit world food production negatively.

Politicians and policy makers have no excuses here. They’ve been enthralled by the scientists they pay to tell them what they want to hear for years.


Vertical line shows planetary conjunction with the Sun [credit: Wikipedia]

Numerous studies have found evidence of an apparently regular and significant climate event every 1,470 years (on average), which seems to show up most clearly in glacial periods. They speak of a ‘robust 1,470-year response time’, ‘a precise clock’, ‘abrupt climate change’ and so forth.

However they also say things like: ‘The origin of this regular pacing…remains a mystery.’

A couple of example studies here:
Possible solar origin of the 1,470-year glacial climate cycle demonstrated in a coupled model (2005)

Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock (2003)
– – –
Now we can relate this to the half period of the Jupiter-Saturn (J-S) conjunction cycle, i.e. one inferior or superior conjunction, as explained at Wikipedia.

The average J-S half-period is 9.932518 years.
The nearest harmonic to that period in Earth years is 10.
1470 = 148 * J-S/2
1470 = 147 * 10y
148 – 147 = 1 Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle

We find also that Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune conjunctions are such that:
148 * J-S/2 = 74 J-S = 41 S-N = 115 J-N = 1,470 years. [74 + 41 = 115]

Therefore 3 of the 4 major planets have a 1,470 year conjunction cycle.
(Planetary data from JPL @ NASA here)

So that’s the concept.
– – –
The graphics below are from Carsten Arnholm’s Solar Simulator software tool.
The interval between left and right sides is 1,470 years (May 501 – May 1971).

Each one shows a Jupiter, Neptune and Earth syzygy with Saturn opposite.
Note the similarity of the positions (red lines cross at the solar system barycentre).

Arizona, USA

Amazing what can be gleaned from a 1,700 feet long rock core.
H/T Ian Wilson

Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from Jupiter and Venus slightly elongate Earth’s orbit, an amazingly consistent pattern that has influenced our planet’s climate for at least 215 million years and allows scientists to more precisely date geological events like the spread of dinosaurs, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The findings are published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reports ScienceDaily.


Drought conditions in Northern China

But what is driving the drivers – that bright thing in the sky perhaps?

A recent study reveals the large-scale dynamic drivers of the prolonged spring-summer drought over North China, where prolonged drought tends to begin in spring and persists to summer with severe societal impacts, says EurekAlert!.

North China, where almost half China’s population lives and most wheat and corn are grown, is facing serious water crisis. Since the late 1990s severe and extreme droughts have frequently dropped by and drought affected area has been increasing by 3.72% decade-1 in the past five decades, posing great challenges for regional sustainable development.

Scientists have been concerned that if climate continues to warm in the future, there is a high confidence level that drought over North China will continue to increase. Thus, it is of great importance to identify the drivers and dynamic mechanisms of North China drought in order to improve drought prediction and better water management.


We’re informed that ‘these findings definitely challenge the widespread view of trees as static, passive organisms’.

A high-precision, three-dimensional survey of 21 different species of trees has revealed an as-yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night, reports

Such ‘sleep cycles’ differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.


Image credit: ScienceDaily

It seems there was ‘a distinct increase in sea ice extent’ at some point in time that led to a switch to longer ice age intervals, but the reason(s) for it are not known.

Researchers from Cardiff University have revealed how sea ice has been contributing to the waxing and waning of ice sheets over the last million years, says

In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, the team have shown for the first time that ice ages, occurring every 100,000 years, are accompanied by a rapid build-up of sea ice in the Earth’s oceans.


A reconstruction of the Anglian ice sheet in Precambrian North London (credit: BBC / The Natural History Museum, London)

This isn’t the first time a dust-related theory of long-term climate change has been put forward. But this one looks at what could have caused the Earth to go into cycles of glacial and interglacial periods in the first place.

Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth’s climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study, reports ScienceDaily.

One of the co-authors was Alex Pullen, an assistant professor of environmental engineering and earth sciences at Clemson University.

“Why study the past? It’s a great predictor of the future,” he said. “The findings of this study were both interesting and very unexpected.”


Well, they may think they do. But once they accept that the Sun can vary its output they have to accept it can vary up or down. If there’s a ‘grand minimum’ then there should be a ‘grand maximum’ (which may have just happened), and all points in between. Claims of ‘human-induced climate change’ have to be weighed against natural variation. The fact that reports like this are starting to appear suggests the writing is on the wall for climate warmists, due to natural factors they used to claim were too trivial to mention.

The sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change, says

The cooldown would be the result of what scientists call a grand minimum, a periodic event during which the sun’s magnetism diminishes, sunspots form infrequently, and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet.

Scientists believe that the event is triggered at irregular intervals by random fluctuations related to the sun’s magnetic field.


Earthquake zones in Chile [image credit:]

One finding was that ‘giant earthquakes (like the one in 1960) re-occur every 292 ±93 years’. Coincidentally or not, these numbers seem to align with lunar apsidal cycles (33 ±10.5).

By analyzing sediment cores from Chilean lakes, an international team of scientists discovered that giant earthquakes reoccur with relatively regular intervals, reports

When also taking into account smaller earthquakes, the repeat interval becomes increasingly more irregular to a level where earthquakes happen randomly in time.

“In 1960, South-Central Chile was hit by the largest known quake on Earth with a magnitude of 9.5. Its tsunami was so massive that –in addition to inundating the Chilean coastline– it travelled across the Pacific Ocean and even killed about 200 persons in Japan,” says Jasper Moernaut, an assistant professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and lead author of the study. “Understanding when and where such devastating giant earthquakes may occur in the future is a crucial task for the geoscientific community”.


US winter storm 2018 [image credit: NASA]

A sort of review of leading ice age theories. A paper by Ralph Ellis that was featured at the Talkshop gets a mention. A point not mentioned: the carbon cycle dictates that cooling leads to the oceans absorbing more CO2, while warming leads to more outgassing of it to the atmosphere.

Record cold in America has brought temperatures as low as minus 44C in North Dakota, frozen sharks in Massachusetts and iguanas falling from trees in Florida, writes Matt Ridley.

Al Gore blames global warming, citing one scientist to the effect that this is “exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis”. Others beg to differ: Kevin Trenberth, of America’s National Centre for Atmospheric Research, insists that “winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change”.

Forty-five years ago a run of cold winters caused a “global cooling” scare.


Image credit: Andrew Holt

Parts of the Alps have seen a return to 1978 weather conditions according to this report, with some places only accessible by helicopter.

Hundreds of roads across the Alps in France, Italy and Switzerland were closed, cutting off resorts and villages, after the kind of snowfall that only comes once every 30 years, as Euronews reports.

Tens of thousands of people have been stranded across the Alps after ‘once-in-a-generation’ weather dumped almost 2 meters of snow on some ski resorts in less than 48 hours.

Schools and nurseries have been closed and roads cut off after the Savoie department in France was placed on red alert – the highest warning for avalanches.

Tignes and Val d’Isere have been in lockdown with tourists and residents confined to the area.


Iberian Peninsula [image credit: NASA]

Study of long-term oceanic influences on a regional climate has turned up some interesting results, as explains.

What is causing the droughts that the Iberian Peninsula regularly endures? Why are the winters sometimes mild and rainy and other times cold and dry or cold and damp? Is climate change of anthropogenic origin exerting an influence on these processes? How are these cycles affecting the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems?

And finally, can these cycles be predicted and the economy thus adjusted to them?


Sun at solar system barycentre 1990 [via Arnholm’s solar simulator]

H/T Michele Casati

N.S.Sidorenkov, Ian Wilson

ABSTRACT. The influence of solar retrograde motion on secular minima of solar activity, volcanic eruptions, climate changes, and other terrestrial processes is investigated. Most collected data suggest that secular minima of solar activity, powerful volcanic eruptions, significant climate changes, and catastrophic earthquakes occur around events of solar retrograde motion.

Keywords: barycentric motion of the sun; secular minima of solar activity, volcanic eruptions, climate changes; the historical process of humankind.


Uranus [image credit: NASA]

One of the two processes involved is “due to high-speed particles from outside the solar system, known as galactic cosmic rays, bombarding the atmosphere and influencing the formation of clouds”, reports If so, it looks like further evidence for the Svensmark hypothesis.

Changes in solar activity influence the colour and formation of clouds around the planet, researchers at Oxford and Reading universities found.

The icy planet is second furthest from the sun in the solar system and takes 84 Earth years to complete a full orbit – one Uranian year.

The researchers found that, once the planet’s long and strange seasons are taken into account, it appears brighter and dimmer over a cycle of 11 years. This is the regular cycle of solar activity which also affects sun spots.


The researchers back the idea that ‘a strong NAO synchronizes climate across large parts of Europe’, reports ScienceDaily. ‘Large scale changes in pressure’ are involved.

Research has found a strong correlation between the North Atlantic Oscillation and synchronized tree reproduction across Europe, supporting the idea that this phenomenon plays a greater role in large scale masting, the process whereby forest trees produce large numbers of seeds in the same year.

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) refers to the large scale changes in pressure that occur naturally in the North Atlantic region. It has been shown to have a strong effect on atmospheric circulation and European climate.

It is known that tree reproduction tends to be strongly synchronised within local populations, so that if one tree is producing a very heavy seed or fruit crop, it is very likely that a neighbouring tree will also be heavily fruiting.


Jupiter [image credit: NASA]

The caption to the explanatory video says: ‘When scientists look at Jupiter’s upper atmosphere in infrared light, they see the region above the equator heating and cooling over a roughly four-year cycle’.

Speeding through the atmosphere high above Jupiter’s equator is an east-west jet stream that reverses course on a schedule almost as predictable as a Tokyo train’s, says Now, a NASA-led team has identified which type of wave forces this jet to change direction.

Similar equatorial jet streams have been identified on Saturn and on Earth, where a rare disruption of the usual wind pattern complicated weather forecasts in early 2016.

The new study combines modeling of Jupiter’s atmosphere with detailed observations made over the course of five years from NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai’i. The findings could help scientists better understand the dynamic atmosphere of Jupiter and other planets, including those beyond our solar system.


Jupiter’s cloud bands [image credit: NASA]

The report says: ‘On Earth, this relationship between distant events in a planet’s climate system is known as teleconnection.’ The surprise was to find evidence of it on both of the solar system’s two biggest planets.

Immense northern storms on Saturn can disturb atmospheric patterns at the planet’s equator, finds the international Cassini mission in a study led by Dr Leigh Fletcher from the University of Leicester.

This effect is also seen in Earth’s atmosphere, suggesting the two planets are more alike than previously thought, reports

Despite their considerable differences, the atmospheres of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn all display a remarkably similar phenomenon in their equatorial regions: vertical, cyclical, downwards-moving patterns of alternating temperatures and wind systems that repeat over a period of multiple years.

These patterns—known as the Quasi-Periodic Oscillation (QPO) on Saturn and the Quasi-Quadrennial Oscillation (QQO) on Jupiter, due to their similarities to Earth’s so-called Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO)—appear to be a defining characteristic of the middle layers of a planetary atmosphere.